Guardiola: World Cup could dictate City’s Champions League fate

Pep Guardiola believes the condition of City’s players after the World Cup will dictate our UEFA Champions League fate.

Bundesliga side RB Leipzig were revealed to be our Round of 16 opponents, during Monday’s draw in Nyom, Switzerland.

This represents our first meeting with the German club since the group stages last term, where we won 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium but lost 2-1 away in the final game of Group A.

With the ties to be played in February and March, however, the boss believes it’s hard to predict how we’ll shape up after the six-week tournament in Qatar.

It’s expected a number of City stars will represent their respective nations at the World Cup, before our Premier League campaign resumes on 28 December.

And Guardiola believes a lot could happen between now and the first leg at Red Bull Arena on Wednesday 22 February in what he predicts will be a tough assignment for his side.

“We have for sure an experience with them from last season.

“We struggled a lot, we scored a lot of goals here, but we concede at the Etihad Stadium, and then we lost there.”

“We will see what will happen in February, how we arrive, and how they arrive. But we have huge respect for what they have done in German football and in Europe and in Europe right now already.

“It’s a young team, clear idea of how they want to play, and quick box to box transitions. They have a good manager who we have experience against when we play Gladbach.

“It’s the Champions League last 16. You could have asked me about Porto, Inter Milan, Milan, PSG - all the clubs are really strong at this stage.

“Just, after the World Cup. We will start again, how we feel and how we will be in that moment.

“We need to see how we are in that moment. If we play next week against Leipzig, I could tell you how we are exactly - but in February, many things can happen.”

Hear the boss’ pre-match thoughts in full via the video above…


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